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Publisher's Summary

A secret buried in the Antarctic. A puzzle unsolved for thousands of years.

And a Brooklyn-born master gunnery sergeant who's royally pissed that he has to babysit the researchers sent to figure it all out. Patrick "Wic" Finnegan's last op as a Marine Raider before retirement sends him to the frozen Ellsworth Subglacial Highlands. The only reason he's here? He owes a favor to an old friend, but that doesn't mean he has to like it. 

When Wic finally sees what the team has uncovered, he can't believe his eyes, nor is he prepared for the violence to come. Soon, the portal opens and unleashes a storm of unbridled fury upon humanity. 

From the Antarctic tundra to the streets of Manhattan, Wic and his team will be pushed to their limits as they fight to hold back Earth's ultimate threat. The odds are against them. Governments are toppling. And the Earth is falling into ruin. 

Join best-selling authors Christopher Hopper and J.N. Chaney on what audiences call a "nonstop, break-neck thrill ride into metaspace". For fans of District 9, Expeditionary Force, and Galaxy's Edge, this is one military sci-fi thriller you won't be able to put down, and the official beginning to the hit series Ruins of the Galaxy.

©2020 Variant Publications (P)2021 Podium Audio

What listeners say about Ruins of the Earth

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A video game that accidentally became a book

Let’s start with RC Bray’s earthy performance which, as always, rates highly. I had only one word to add the long list of words with more than three syllables that Mr Bray can’t pronounce. That word was “protractor.”

I thought I’d found another word but I had to widen my distaste to the whole of the US when, on checking, I found that Americans pronounce “cuneiform” as Bray did. We’ll just chalk that up to a lack of literary culture in the 19th century when US English was still in its formative years, a state of affairs that hasn’t much changed.

Oh, and Mr Bray can’t do John Cleese. It starts off well with an accent resembling the Arguments Clinic sketch but then veers around touching Danny Kaye, John Oliver, Oliver Twist, and Boston Irish along its path. We will forgive him that.

Calling this “military science fiction” is an insult to the genre of science fiction and to science everywhere. “American military fantasy” is a better description.

Let’s start with the implausible introduction on which the whole plot hangs. We are told that a master gunnery sergeant and a few Americans, Russians and Brits, armed only with peashooters, have been put in charge of Earth defences in a first contact scenario. And for some reason, scientists are running the show with occasional input from the CIA. The scientists are so naive that they fail to take even the most basic precautions against meeting nasty aliens. The obvious ensues.

Spoilers ahead...

We then meet aggressive robots, droids, and aliens. For some reason, and despite a mastery of quantum physics, star travel, sentient robots, and an excess of energy, there is a galactic market for human slaves. These slaves can serve as salty snacks for the aliens in a pinch, but they apparently have some other useful functions such that the aliens want to collect billions of them to sell. Business 101 SWAT analysis is definitely required.

Anyway, despite their advanced technology, the humans are fortunate that the aliens still like to fight up close and personal, using armour that can be breached with the right attitude using high-powered human weapons which thoughtful, ex-military preppers keep stored in their garages.

Much more useful is our hero’s fortuitous breaching of the alien’s weapons system thanks to the aliens’ neglect of basic firewall security and their thoughtfulness in providing an English speech interface to the weapon AI.

The rest is just a series of stretch targets for our lovable team of highly professional warriors. We get recycled plots from other stories including wry AIs (you have downloaded a John Cleese personality and the Disney movies but you don’t know what a flounder is?!) and Russian mafia markers (what, no pooch?!).

I listened to the end but have no desire to hear any more. My brain might die.

6 people found this helpful

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Another riveting franchise series

Another riveting franchise series, that i await with baited breath for the next book.

2 people found this helpful

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Wow

Wow good solid story love the banter between characters the flow of the story awsome a must read buying the rest of series asap

1 person found this helpful

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fantastic mix of action and characters

if you love expeditionary force or the galaxys edge series you will love this. a good mix of humour and action that keeps your attention and makes you not want to put it away. as always R.C Bray is perfect and the best narrator for these types of Sci fi adventure books.

1 person found this helpful

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A page turner

New to the writers, but this win me over. So looking forward to the next book

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  • S W
  • 13-01-2022

Good story

I had a good time listening to this. I am going to pick up the next book and see where the story goes.

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It's easy to draw parallels with ExForce, but...

I always keep an eye out for the books by Hopper and Chaney, but as much as I love RC Bray's reading, I think he was the wrong choice for this book. Don't get me wrong, I still type his name into the audible search bar when looking for new books, but...
The problem is, he is Skippy The Magnificent. And, since his 'British' accent drops into Skippy mode from time to time, the comparison with that series is hard to ignore. Which is a shame, because the overall story of this book (and hopefully series) is good enough to stand on its own. I mean, if you look at it in general terms, it's similar: Humans believe they're alone, discover they're not, find an AI, and proceed to kick alien butt. But the devil is in the details, and I don't want to give any spoilers away, with the setting and characters, plus, who doesn't love to see humans losing then pulling some incredible feat of bravery to win the day? Again, RC Bray's reading makes it easy to see comparisons with Joe and Skippy.
I read a number of reviews before going ahead and purchasing this book, and I'm glad I did get it.
Basically, if you like the Expeditionary Force series, you'll like this (who doesn't, right?). It's similar, but different enough to be good on its own merits, if you can look past the same voice that does both.

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  • Don
  • 24-11-2021

enjoyable

Chuck reminded me a lot of Skippy... but it is a great formula. Enjoyed the book a lot in the end and will be waiting for book two.

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A good easy listen.

Narration easy to listen to. Story line and characters well set out. Well worth it.

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exciting and funny

such a great read very funny and exciting with fantastic narration.

can't wait for the next one!!

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  • MLT78
  • 30-03-2021

Suspenseful military story with great characters.

This book series is part of the RUINS (Ruins of the Galaxy) book universe. This book can be read before or after you have read the other series. This series is starting off with more focus on the “military” aspect of the mil sci-fi than Ruins of the Galaxy.

It is written in a way that keeps the suspense high. It is gritty at times and has an incredibly “realistic feel” for it being sci-fi.

The characters are done very well. They are interesting, realistic, quirky, flawed, and entertaining. Each one seems unique, has depth, and we already see some character development in book one. Many sci-fi books focus on story rather than character development but this book equally places importance on both.

A fun start to a new series!

And RC Bray kills it as usual.

47 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremy Korpi
  • 06-04-2021

I really wanted to like this.

Imagine if Craig Alanson wrote expeditionary force while in middle school. Same characters, same basic plot, just not as good. if not for RC Bray, I think I would have turned it off. I will not be continuing this series.

46 people found this helpful

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  • General Tso
  • 02-04-2021

Expeditionary Force, but completely on Earth

Even has Skippy the Magnificent! Um... I mean, "Sir Chuck the gun".

As always, RC Bray is amazing.

However I expect the authors either got Craig Alanson's permission or are expecting a law suit.

36 people found this helpful

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  • rob stover
  • 05-04-2021

Plagiarism? Or Skippy & Nagatha light.

You get a few hours into this otherwise promising story and run head first into an AI character amazingly similar to Skippy/Nagatha from another series by C. Alanson. Oops! So I am returning the book.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Janulin
  • 30-03-2021

The bar has been raised!!!

Unlike most Sci-Fi thrillers, this one takes place right here in our own back yard. Starting at the South Pole, moving through the rural country side of eastern Pensylvania, through New Jersey, Staten Island, and into the heart of Manhattan. The author has spared no detail to make you feel as if you are right there in the middle of all the action.

With a new batch of characters, and very authentic action scenes, mixed with humor and twists and turns, this book will keep you on edge from start until finish.

Topped with the voice talents of the legendary R.C. Bray, this is one thrill ride you absolutely do not want to miss.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Michelle Allen
  • 04-04-2021

I love RC Bray but...

Not sure he was the best choice for this book. Given the premise of this book and some of RC’s vocalizations, some Characters were too close to Expeditionary Force for my liking. It’s a fun listen but I felt it was a rip off of EF.

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Eric
  • 31-03-2021

Bray is King

Once again, RC Bray graces us with his stupendous vocal talents. Prepare yourselves, Monkeys! Another adventure is upon us, but this time it's a whole new universe. And boy, what a story. I love the ancient civilization stuff, the aliens, and the mystery of Antarctica. Can't get enough!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-04-2021

Disappointed

Stereotypical characters and predictable events made this book difficult to listen to . If it wasn’t for R.C Bray’s excellent narration I would have turned it off.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-03-2021

A thrill ride

Chaney, Hopper, and Bray are a solid mix. I've been reading Chaney's stuff for two years and every series is a home run. This was no different. Great to finally hear Bray's treatment, and boy does he deliver the goods. I'm looking forward to the next one already. In the meantime, I plan to re-listen to Renegade Star.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lanie and Alex
  • 19-05-2021

Too cliche, too derivative, couldn’t finish

Listen, I like both these authors but this was just not up to par for them. This is supposed to be realistic in terms of the military characters, at least that’s how it seems to be written. I’m not former military but I can tell you that just because you were in, doesn’t mean you’re going to have access to military grade comms equipment, weapons, explosives, etc, when you retire. The protagonist is frustratingly dense in both his reluctance to accept the fact that earth is being invaded by aliens as well as being cliche in his interaction with technology. I’m just a little tired of the “I’m an old man in my thirties/forties and I don’t understand or trust all this new fangled technology that I’ve been living with and around for most of my adult life” trope. Also, there are just too many similarities to other popular contemporary military science fictions out there and borders on the cringy when the “Skippy/Bishop” plot development begins. I’m just disappointed because the meat of this story had the potential to be fun, compelling, and original but got bogged down by what one could call paying tribute and another would call intellectual theft. Sorry friends, try something else.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Craigy Gerrard
  • 31-03-2021

ooooohhhhh...copywrite claim inbound !!!!

SPOILER ALERT...A third of the way through and really enjoying the story even more so the writing...
But yet again writers have stolen the skippy'' narrative and turned him into a gun with a SMYTHE accent...
Anybody who has read EXPEDITIONARY FORCE series is going to pan this one !!!!
R.C.BRAY gives another masterful performance , he deserves his mansion yought and ferrari, he even adds an extra star to the overall but i just cant get skippy out of my head,,,
Unless theres a RUINS-EX FORFCE mash up later on in the series its just plain theft!!!!!

20 people found this helpful

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  • Suzanne
  • 25-05-2021

A copyright lawsuit surely?

While there is lots to like and some great characters... It is a blatant copy of another very successful book series. Not even a vague resemblance, exactly the same in many respects. How can this be allowed? Didn't even give the AI a different accent or character.
I am left in shock at the bare faced cheek.
To be honest.. I only got it for R C Bray, who I have a weird voice crush on.. But even so. He must have been uncomfortable reading it.
R C Bray.. If you read this, in the UK in 'Twat' is pronounced 'Twat' (like 'mat') , not 'Twot' ... Just saying. Otherwise, keep doing what you do x

15 people found this helpful

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  • Adam Smith
  • 17-04-2021

Expeditionary Force Rip-off

If you enjoyed expeditionary force this book will either annoy you or feel like a familiar safety blanket, made all the more strange by having the same narrator.

Skippy in the form of a gun, with the same voice, same snarky attitude, narrated by the same narrator. Complete with its own version of Bishop and a similar premise ....

11 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-05-2021

Same horse different jockey

If you read the other reviews you will notice that there is a common theme, that the AI is a lot like skippy the magnificent.

Although the story is a great way to lose yourself it certainly has many aspects that mirror the Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson.

On several occasions I had to check to see if it was the same author.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • D Lbenb
  • 04-04-2021

Terrible

What showed so much promise is totally spoiled by quirky AI. I got half way through this before I could no longer tolerate it. Great shame when two talented authors come up with such a stupid story line. My advice is to avoid this. A pity a great narrator like RC Bray has to waste his great skill on this nonsense.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Britt
  • 29-05-2021

Plagerising at it's best

I came to this book for RC and I stayed for the same reason. Craig Alanson should send the Mavericks to sort these writers out and if they need help, the SG creators can be invited along. Totally one dimensional character development. So stereotypical all across the board I had to fast forward often but of course felt disrespectful of Mr Bray. wow, this was so sad. I also listened to it after having just finished Andy Weir's latest, Hail Mary, which was an outstanding and unique story, so falling into this felt especially tragic.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Denise Caffrey
  • 15-04-2021

Loved it!

I enjoyed this story from start to finish, I look forward to the next instalment

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 13-04-2021

Excellent

Thoroughly enjoyable and engaging ilsten, can't wait for books two and three to become available

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alexander
  • 09-04-2021

Hmmmm Very Similar

The story is very similar to another. BUT! If you enjoy the ‘other’ story then you will enjoy this one. R.C. Bray once again delivers another outstanding performance.

Looking forward to Book 2

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ned Perry
  • 01-05-2021

American exceptionalism at its worst

Boring, repetitive and bland with a story that feels like it was extruded by a malfunctioning military jargon dictionary

3 people found this helpful

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